I had written a while ago about a quick way to resolve this issue by simply uninstalling Power Commands.
For some reason, the problem reappeared for me a few weeks ago — I think after installing an SDK — and I did not have Power Commands installed! So I had to find an alternative solution. It’s a little tedious, but it does the trick.
Just to recap, the problem is that when the Visual Studio 2008 IDE reaches a certain state, attempts to Choose Items in the toolbox leads to Visual Studio shutting completely down, usually after a long and fretful wait.
1. To clear this peculiar issue up, you will want to run Visual Studio in safe mode. To do so, open up a command line utility and run DEVENV /safemode. Visual Studio should come up for you.
2. Right click on your toolbox and select Choose Items… from the context menu.
3. Methodically select each tab in the dialog box that is presented. Accept any recommendations or error messages that come up.
4. After this time consuming but effective process, you may close Visual Studio and bring it up again in normal mode. All blemishes should be gone, and you can continue with your work.